Partner Pose: Vajrasana + Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

Drawing exclusively for Kathryn Peterson's Yoga For Intimacy™, by Cindy Dos Santos of Between the Lines.

Drawing exclusively for Kathryn Peterson's Yoga For Intimacy™, by Cindy Dos Santos of Between the Lines.

The Asanas

HIM (vajrasana): Begin by kneeling with your knees directly under your hips, and your ankles directly behind your knees. Curl your toes under. Gently bend in your hips, sitting back onto your heels with your perineum (the area in between your genitalia and anus) pointing directly to the ground. 

HER (setu bandha sarvangasana): Lay on your back with your knees bent, and your feet planted next to your partner's hips. Your perineum should be pointing directly towards your partner. Keep your shoulder blades together and your arms flat on the ground. Gently lift your hips by pressing your feet into the ground, keeping your gluteus muscles relaxed. (See the Bridge Pose here).

The Application

The male in vajrasns is perfectly positioned to practice the 'Up and Down' thrusting method. Rather than the 'In and Out' thrusting method, which overstimulates the head of the penis (often causing premature ejaculation) and understimulates the vagina (neglecting the clitoris), the 'Up and Down' thrusting method keeps the penis inside of the vagina, moving up and down to stimulate the female g-spot and ps-spot erogenous areas, while the base of the penis stimulates the clitoris. Because the point of friction is located at the penis base, rather than the head, the male partner is less likely to ejaculate prematurely.

Additionally, the female partner has her clitoris exposed for simultaneous stimulation during penetration. (This is an excellent position for anal penetration as well, offering multiple point of stimulation in addition to eye contact). 

With his extended stamina, and her plethora of pleasure access, the orgasms will flow all night.

Backdoor Pleasure (For Women and Men)

Backdoor Pleasure (For Women and Men)

Analingus is the oral stimulation of the anus, which can be incredibly arousing for both men and women. There we hold a huge number of nerve endings, and the rectum itself is held in the pelvic floor (i.e. our pleasure powerhouse).  And you can’t really get more intimate than worshiping your lover’s anus with your tongue, can you?

When teaching this practice, many clients protest that analingus can be unhygienic. Take a shower. I urge everyone to treat lovemaking as a special event in and of itself (because it is) and to prepare for the occasion by thoroughly washing. Plan a ‘Date For Intimacy’ at least once a week, for at least three hours, and spend the whole time in bed with your partner.  Make sure your partner is very aroused (i.e. hard/wet ) during oral pleasure, and then give that bull tongue!

You could also take a shower together beforehand to ensure your partner’s cleanliness.

If you are pleasuring a woman, I suggest licking from the clitoris to the vagina, and then gradually extend your licks from the clitoris to the anus. Continue using your fingers to pleasure her while your tongue explores her anus.  I recommend trying this with her lying on her stomach, with her pleasure area elevated like in the Cow Pose. (It’s also a great way to prepare for anal penetration).

If you are pleasuring a man, I suggest licking from the base of the shaft to the tip, and then gradually extend your licks from the anus up the shaft. And yes, continue using your hands here. I recommend trying this with him lying on his back, with his lower back elevated like in the Bridge Pose.

Remember to keep your glutes relaxed, so that your are more sensitive to all the pleasure coming your way!

Speaking the Present

Speaking the Present

When we are mindful of our feelings, we are drenched in presence.  Focusing on our physical sensations is an excellent practice to begin attuning our Self to the present moment, for what we are feeling right now, is only experienced right now.

Practice speaking aloud your physical sensations during yoga and during intimacy.

Practice speaking aloud your physical sensations during yoga and during intimacy.

As a practice to invite this mindfulness, I coach my clients to observe their feelings aloud during an extended hold of a yoga pose. For example, let’s imagine that a client is practicing the Pigeon Pose prep that is pictured above. She might observe the following feelings: “My right glute feels tight. My breath feels tight also. As I take a deeper breath, I feel my hip opening. My shoulders feel tense. Now that I think about it, they are releasing more. I am feeling calm and strong.”

I then encourage my clients to extend this framework to lovemaking, which usually appears as ‘talking dirty’. Back to our example, during physical intimacy, a client may share the following feelings: “I feel hot and excited for you. My nipples a feeling harder, and I’m getting so wet. You’re tongue feels so amazing right there.”

By embodying the present moment, we are able to connect with our partner on a deeper level. Not only are our bodies in close contact, but our minds are in close contact, too. Taoism teaches that we must synchronize our minds and bodies in order to achieve full-body orgasms, which ultimately lead us to synchronize our souls. It all happens right now.

Pleasure Pose: Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

The Asana

- Begin by laying on your back. Keep your legs hip-distant apart, with your perineum pointing straight out in between them.

- Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle, placing the soles of your feet on the ground.

- Raise your hips by pressing the balls of your feet into the ground. Make sure that your feet are pointing forward and that your buttocks is completely relaxed.

- Keep your shoulder blades together, bringing your chest toward your chin.

- You can place your arms alongside your torso, or clasp them together underneath you.

- Beginners can place a block or towel underneath their hips, for support. More advanced practitioners can raise their heels up, and stabilize on the balls of their feet.

The Application

The Bridge Pose is a backbend, and therefore a heart opener. The Heart Chakra is located at the chest, and is considered to be where our loving emotions are housed. Opening the Heart Chakra is representative of inviting more loving feeling into our person.

This is also an excellent position that can be practically applied to intimacy. The Bridge Pose is a wonderful practice for receiving oral pleasure, since it exposes the entire genital area to your partner, including the anus. For this same reason, it can be a wonderfully pleasurable pose for masturbation. Many of my clients like to place a pillow or folded up blanket underneath the hips, when holding this pose for an extended period of time. When women practice the Bridge Pose in the missionary sex position, it gives her partner easy access for stimulating her clitoris by hand while penetrating her vaginally (or anally).  When men practice the Bridge Pose in the cowgirl sex position, it gives him greater thrusting mobility. Truly the possibilities of pleasure are infinite.

Yoga For Fellatio

Yoga For Fellatio

I created Yoga for Fellatio: Manifesting Your Power of Pleasure to share insight with other women about the power of fellatio - its power of pleasure for us women, as well as for our partners.

Underpinning my extensive study on fellatio, including hundreds of conversations and over fifty formal surveys, I found that there are three keys to cultivating maximum pleasure in fellatio: communication, confidence, and sex energy cultivation.

Communication is essential throughout all of our intimate experiences. I encourage partners to regularly talk with each other about what they find to be most and least pleasurable in their intimate experiences. These conversations are what should guide you in fellatio and beyond, to create maximum pleasure for both of you physically, while also deepening your emotional and spiritual connection through the communication itself. 

Confidence was reported by survey participants to be one of the most highly-noted attributes in a partner. Many women have told me that they do not feel confident during fellatio practice, especially those who feel that they do not have much experience and those who have developed a bias against fellatio. Invoking a yoga practices during intimacy helps us to during  focus on the present moment rather than our insecurities, therefore allowing confidence to blossom.

Sex energy cultivation is essential to our being, and can be maximized through the practice of fellatio. Taoist techniques for sex energy cultivation require that we reverse the typical pattern of sex energy – rather than sex energy flowing in through a woman’s breast and out through our groin, we practice bringing sex energy in through the groin and out through the breast.

Read more about sex energy cultivation during fellatio, in my guest blog post for Sex With Dr. Jess.

 

One of my favorite yoga asanas for practicing fellatio is the Puppy Pose. This pose elongates the back and neck to help open the throat chakra. Bending deeply in the hips will give your partner added visual stimulation, while positioning yourself to pleasured while laying across from him. 

Learn more about Kathryn's Yoga For Fellatio workshops, available for private groups and organizations, by emailing kathryn@yogaforintimacy.com

Preparing Your Space For Intimacy

Preparing your environment for intimacy is a key to manifesting the spiritual pleasures of partnership. When you enter into a yoga studio, you typically encounter an airy space, free of clutter. Things are organized and aligned. The lighting and colors are soft and evocative. Yoga studios are typically set up like this so as to mimic the openness and cleansing nature of asana practice, which also applies to intimacy.

Like we say in yoga: As Above, So Below.

This means that your external surroundings are a reflection of your internal self, and vice versa. For the most pleasurable intimate experience, I coach clients to set the mood in a similar fashion as to that of yoga practice. During yoga and intimacy both, we want to release the pollution, from within and without, that may block us from experiencing our deepest feeling.

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Cleanliness is Godliness

I recommend that clients maintain a clean environment for intimacy, releasing as much clutter as possible, so that there is more area for (sex) energy to circulate. This is a great practice to maintain on a consistent basis—donating unused items, organizing piles of paper, and cleaning all surfaces. Make sure everything has a place.

I also recommend that clients maintain a clean body for intimacy. In addition to fundamental health practices like eating a plant-based diet, drinking copious amounts of water, and exercising everyday, I coach my clients to prepare for intimate experiences by indulging in every hygenic practice that helps them to feel most sexy (e.g. manicure, shaving, exfoliating). This helps to align your thoughts of upcoming pleasure, with your feeling ready for pleasure, so that you can manifest this pleasure to its full potential.

Wearing something special in anticipation of intimacy can cultivate even more alignment and a special energy of playfulness. Many of my female clients enjoy wearing lingerie or a sexy dress, which increases their self-esteem and their partner's arousal. Many of my male clients enjoy wearing a textured fabric that can be used to stimulate their partner (like silk or cashmere), or wearing a special accessory to keep on during intimacy (like a tie or fedora), which push their female partner's pleasure limits while also creating an opportunity for bonding over the unique experience.

The Altar

An altar is used to support yoga practice by activating spiritual energy. As the ideal intimate experiences are spiritual as well, creating an altar in the bedroom can help us to channel this energy for enhanced pleasure and partnership. Typically an altar holds representations from the five elements: earth, wind, fire, air, water. Here are some examples of how you can represent these elements in order to channel sex energy:

  • Earth: You can offer anything that comes from the earth, like flowers, plants, sea shells, or fruit.
  • Wind: This is signified by the space between and around your altar, so simply make space.
  • Fire: Light candles!
  • Air: This is best represented with incense, but it could also be with a scented candle or potpourri.
  • Water: I like to put a little glass of water, sometimes with seashells in it, but you can use water any way.

Pleasure Props

At the yoga studio, we see all the mats, blocks, straps, and bolsters organized and ready for use, with the water ready to be had. I coach my clients to do this in their intimate space as well—have condoms, lube, and any toys, ready at hand. Have water, and any other snacks or treats you may want. I recommend fruit (mango already sliced, berries) or a nice dark chocolate bar for a sweet pleasure to share.

Get Excited

When coaching couples with the intention of expanding passion in their relationship, I recommend that they plan a specific time for intimacy, and that they arrive to that experience already excited for their partner.

One way to build up excitement prior to the intimate experience, is to utilize new technology. Many of my clients enjoy sending their partner stimulating pictures and text messages, cultivating sex energy and longing in the hours prior to their meeting.

Tantra gurus also recommend self-stimulation within the hour before lovers meet for intimacy. I coach my clients to lay down, close their eyes, and imagine being pleasured by - and pleasuring - their partner. This practice helps to cultivate sexual energy, while aligning thoughts and feelings in preparation for intimacy, without the complete dumping of sex energy that occurs through solo orgasm.

Intentional Intimacy I: Affirmations

Intentional Intimacy I: Affirmations

I’ve heard many women and men talk about what they want in intimacy. Usually they are listing traits and behaviors that they would like in a partner, and usually they are lamenting that they have not yet met this ideal partner.

Our ideals surrounding intimacy tend to be quite extraordinary. I believe that our intimate relationships are the most vital relationships of our lifetime. The closeness that we experience with our intimate partner is profoundly unique, exposing our deepest vulnerabilities and deepest pleasures.

But when our talk about intimacy is concentrated on our ideal partner, we are missing a large part of the actual experience – our own self! When we create an intention that is expressed solely through descriptive thoughts about a partner or partnership, it is very limited because of its lack of consideration for our own feelings and emotions.

The first step to manifesting what we desire to attract in intimacy, is to imagine how we will feel in our ideal partnership.

As many intimacy educators implore their clients to do, I now ask you to imagine your ideal intimate relationship, and consider more specifically the thoughts and feelings that you will experience in this ideal intimacy. These ideals are going to be used as affirmations; therefore, I recommend that you write them down as active, present tense statements so that they will be most effective at reshaping your subconscious. I also recommend that your statements are written in the positive. For example, rather than writing the negative statement 'I am not fighting with my partner', which holds fighting as central and thus plants fighting into your consciousness, this intention can be rewritten into a positive statement as 'I am calmly communicating with my partner.'

Take a moment to write down all of the thoughts that you desire to be had in intimacy. Here are some examples that you may include on your list:

  • I am growing spiritually, through our connection.
  • I am always learning with my partner.
  • I am openly communicating with my partner.
  • I am exploring and celebrating my sexuality.
  • I am attracted and attached to my partner.
  • I am supported in my growing awareness, and transcendence, of my limiting beliefs.
  • I am understanding my emotional patterns.
  • I am inspired to be successful.
  • I am the best version of myself when I am with my partner.

Now take another moment to write down all of the feelings that you desire to experience in intimacy. Here are some more examples that you may include:

  • I feel passionate.
  • I feel gratitude.
  • I feel joyful.
  • I feel free.
  • I feel attractive.
  • I feel sensual.
  • I feel playful.
  • I feel excited.
  • I feel supported.
  • I feel creative.

Affirmations work by rewiring our subconscious minds. Many women and men find themselves repeating unwanted patterns in their intimate relationships, which I attribute to their deep-seated, subconscious beliefs.

For example, one female client of mine continually found herself becoming involved with men who cheated. While her ideal consisted of a 'partnership with no cheating', the concept of infidelity remained at the forefront of her subconscious, and that is exactly what she continued to attract. By re-framing her ideal into the positive as a 'monogamous partnership', accompanied by daily meditation on the positive emotions that accompany this affirmation, she attracted a fiercely loyal and loving partner.

Affirmations are incredibly powerful for partners in long-term relationships, in addition to individuals seeking new relationships. When we fall into habitual thinking patterns about our long-term partner (e.g. 'he always talks over me', 'she's never excited about my new project', 'he doesn't like that in bed'), then of course our subconscious helps us to perpetuate the manifestation of these outlooks. By spending 20 minutes per day to relish in the positive emotions that accompany positive affirmations about our relationship (e.g. 'I am respectfully communicating with my partner', 'I am supported in my efforts to success', 'I am free to try new things in intimacy'), our brain begins to create new synapses that helps us attract new opportunities for manifesting our ideals into reality.

It is with the utmost honor and support that I encourage you to create your own Affirmations for your ideal intimacy. I invite you to spend 15-20 minutes per day reciting your affirmations while visualizing your own self embodying the thought and feelings which you desire.

Feel free to reach out to me at kathryn(at)yogaforintimacy.com with any questions or feedback about this process. Blessings of intimate abundance to you!!

ThighMasterClass

ThighMasterClass

By stretching the inner thigh muscles, the pelvic floor muscles are lengthened and the size of the pelvic outlet increases, creating more room for pleasure to circulate.

Practicing an Anjaneyasana variation to open up the upper thighs

Practicing an Anjaneyasana variation to open up the upper thighs

On Sunday, February 26th, I will be teaching the ThighMasterClass, a Yoga for Intimacy community class, in which we will practice basic yoga poses for opening our thighs and pelvic floors. Releasing tension from the pelvic floor is essential for maximizing the pleasure terrain in women, and is beneficial for building pleasure control in men.

Class will be held at Balance Arts Center, located at 34 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor, NYC. This class is designed for women and men of all backgrounds - no experience or equipment required (we have mats!) Class will start promptly at 6pm. Please arrive 5-10 minutes early.

Tantric Meditation for Eye Contact

Tantric Meditation for Eye Contact

Sustaining eye contact with your partner during intimacy is a cornerstone of tantra, and is considered to be a form of energy exchange. I recommend that clients try making eye contact first while kissing, and then throughout successive intimacy practices.

Here is a meditation to try, that can help you harness the power of eye contact:

1. Begin in a sitting yoga pose of your choice, with your perineum pointing down and your hands resting comfortable on your thighs.

2. Find a fixed object in front of you. Often I like to use the flame of an altar candle that I keep in my bedroom. But you can use a tree, a lamp, a pillow – anything! We will call this our meditation anchor.

3. Gaze into your meditation anchor. It is not about staring at the meditation anchor, but looking into it. What is the essence or energy at the very core of your anchor?

4. As you gaze into your meditation anchor, take deeper and deeper abdominal breaths. This means that as you inhale, your entire abdomen expands (all around your torso). Take 10 breaths here, with the intention of inhaling for a count of 6, and exhaling for a count of 6.

5. Now imagine that your meditation anchor is gazing into you! With your eyes and energy, pull its gaze into you. Feel its energy entering you through your chest, while maintaining your gaze. Take 10 abdominal breaths here.

6. Continue this process for as long as you’d like, gazing into the object, and pulling its gaze into you.

7. In intimacy, use the same intention with your partner. Gaze into your partner, and pull their gaze into you. While this may or may not be sustained for a long period of time, its power will undoubtedly be felt in the moment.

*Meditation adapted from Diana Richardson's 'The Heart of Tantric Sex', and originally featured in our 'Yoga for Fellatio' guide.

Pleasure Pose: Cat-Cow Flow

The Asana

- Begin on all fours (hands and knees), with your legs bent at 90 degrees and your arms straight down. Your knees should be directly under your hips, and your hands should be directly under your shoulders. Keep your perineum (the are in between your genitalia and anus) pointing directly back, which will require a bend in the hips, and give you a slight backbend. Pull your bellybutton towards your spine to activate your pelvic floor.

- For the Cow Pose: Point your perineum back and your nose forward. Bring your shoulder blades together, and elongate your chest up and out.

- For the Cat Pose: Point your perineum down in between your legs, and point your nose down in between your hands. Spread your shoulder blades apart, and elongate your back body up and out.

- Move from the Cow Pose to the Cat Pose in a flow. You can inhale on the Cow Pose and exhale on the Cat Pose. The intention is to move only your pelvis and torso - your arms and legs should stay still.

- For extra pelvic lubrication in the Cow Pose, move your perineum in a clockwork motion behind you, keeping your entire body still except for your pelvis.

The Application

The Cat-Cow Flow warms up your hips and pelvis for extended pelvic mobility during intimacy, and is especially beneficial for increasing female pleasure. The female g-spot is located above the front area of the vagina; deeper beyond the g-spot is another erogenous zone called the a-spot, and across the vagina from the g-spot is another erogenous zone called the p-spot. Pelvic mobility helps to ensure that couples have complete access of this pleasure terrain.

Additionally, pulling the bellybutton towards the spine during this exercise helps to tone the pelvic floor, which is essential for women to activate our pleasure receptors, and can help men to 'last longer'.

ARCH Workshop

ARCH Workshop

Did you know that the arch in your foot mirrors the arch in your pelvic floor? Stretching our feet not only improves our gait and therefore our fitness performance, but it also tones the pelvic floor which is essential for intimacy.

Practicing vajrasna, the holy grail of foot arch toning!

Practicing vajrasna, the holy grail of foot arch toning!

Join me at Balance Arts Center this coming Sunday, January 29th at 5pm for a Yoga for Intimacy class dedicated exclusively to toning the arches in our feet and pelvic floor, and nurturing their connection in sensuality.

This class is for women and men of all backgrounds - no experience required! 

RSVP HERE

This is the first in a new series of community classes that I will be hosting on the last Sunday of each month. Subscribe to the yoga for Intimacy newsletter for news on all upcoming programs.

 

The Power of the Perineum

The Power of the Perineum

If I was to offer only one yoga practice to clients for expanding their intimate pleasure, I would say to sit on your perineum.

Now what exactly is the perineum? It is the center of the pelvic floor, and is located in between your genitalia and anus.

The pelvic floor is the energy point for the first chakra, the root chakra. The pelvic floor is made up of the muscles and tissues that line the pubic bone, supporting the bladder, intestines, and reproductive organs. Toning the pelvic floor gives us more access to intimate pleasure by increasing our sensitivity, and helps men to control their ejaculation and ‘last longer.’

With the proliferation of sedentary lifestyles, I see many clients who constantly sit in chairs with their groin and perineum pushed forward, and their weight resting on the top of their glutes.  (This is very conducive to the hunched back phenomenon that we also see.) Considering that the perineum is the center of the pelvic floor, this position is collapsing the pelvic floor onto itself, and making it nearly impossible to tone.

In order to maintain the integrity of the pelvic floor, we should sit directly on our perineum.

Of course, a broader mindfulness of the perineum will help to expand our pelvic floor toning power, and hence expand our capacity for intimate pleasure.

The pelvic floor is the energy point for the first chakra in the kundalini system, the root chakra. The perineum should point in between our feet, which root us to the ground in a more concrete way. As my yoga guru Leslie Journet says, ‘The perineum is the third foot’.

Mindfulness of the perineum during yoga ensures that the pelvic floor will become naturally toned throughout our practice.

You can also try the Mula Bandha practice, a concentrated effort for toning the pelvic floor. Mula bandha means root lock, referring to the pelvic floor as the root chakra, and is akin to the popular Kegel’s exercise. It begins with sitting on your perineum, and consists of contracting the perineum up and down. Unlike the mechanical contraction of the Kegel’s exercise, Mula Bandha practice works in tandem with pranayama (breath work) to contract the perineum up during an inhale of five counts, and then to release the perineum down during an exhale of five counts. The intention of a five minute Mula Bandha practice is to progressively contract and release the perineum more deeply on each breath, toning the pelvic floor and increasing its pleasure receptors through a contraction and release.

The Kegel’s exercise, on the other hand, is typically taught as a quick contraction of the pelvic floor, similar to the sensation of controlling an urge to urinate. This practice has widely been subscribed to women in an effort for her to rebuild a feeling of ‘tightness’. Unfortunately, the mechanical practice of Kegel’s exercises for increased pelvic floor tightness also leads to a hardening of the pelvic floor, which decreases female pleasure sensitivity. We can think of female Kegel’s like a bicep curl: the mechanical curling of a weight, over time, strengthens and tightens the bicep into a hard muscle.

For this reason, I typically do not recommend that women practice Kegel’s exercises. A regular yoga practice with concentrated mindfulness on the perineum positioning, supported by hip alignment and a pulling of the bellybutton towards the spine, is perfect for toning the female pelvic floor into an epicenter of intimate pleasure.

However, there are times when I recommend that men with common sexual dysfunctions practice Kegel’s exercises, in addition to a mindful yoga practice. Most specifically, Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation can easily be improved through a regular regimen of Kegel’s type exercises, since it is the pelvic floor that controls the flow of blood and ejaculation to the penis. The male perineum is about three times longer than the female perineum, and most men tend to have less experience in contracting it, so often times, Kegel’s exercises are an excellent way for men to begin regaining control of their pelvic floor.

In addition to yoga principles, much of my work is also founded in the Taoist tradition. Wu Wei is a Taoist concept that refers to 'work without effort', a type of natural flow that occurs when we act in line to our nature, so that the work we are doing is completely pleasurable and non-burdensome. I encourage you to make a habit of sitting on your perineum, and you too can enjoy this work with effort that promises to increase your intimate pleasure.